Ovarian cysts – An issue of concern

Ovary is the organ that is most prone to a number and variety of cysts in the body of a woman. The ovarian function of producing hormones and releasing eggs is directly related to the formation of cysts. Usually they occur in the reproductive age of a woman but they can occur in girls or women of any age.

An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch that develops in or on the ovary more often during ovulation. These contents are in the form of liquid but they could be solid or a mixture of liquid and solid materials. Even though ovarian cysts are small about the size of a pea or a kidney bean, they grow to the size of softball or even larger. Large ovarian cysts are quite remarkable because the ovary itself is about the size of a walnut. Ovarian cysts are very common and most of these results in changes in the normal function of ovary and not from new growths.

Indications of an ovarian cyst
There are many kinds of ovarian cysts and since their size and number also varies they cause a variety of symptoms. Many cysts even do not cause any symptoms and can be discovered during a regular gynecological check up. However, abdominal pain is the first indicator of an ovarian cyst and if the cyst is large you may face pain or feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen. These cysts can also bring lower abdominal pain during intercourse.

Other possibility of such pain might be the stem that forms on some cysts and becomes twisted that also stops the normal flow of blood and causes intense burns of pain. If a cyst ruptures, it can cause severe lower abdominal pain along with weakness, nausea or vomiting.

Cyst can also cause other symptoms and can press on the rectum leading to constipation or on the bladder creating an urge to urinate. You should not ignore any of these symptoms as they could also be the signs of a gastrointestinal disturbance or any bladder infection.

Results such as irregular periods and infertility
Ovarian cysts can cause irregular periods in a condition called polycystic ovaries whereby the hormonal system regulating the ovaries is disturbed and may cause to form a large number of cysts. Some women also face trouble in pregnancy.

New Drug May Offer Ways To Tame Menopause

Since it was discovered that the risks of hormone therapy outweighed the benefits, scientists have been searching for a safe, natural way to alleviate the symptoms of menopause.

Participants are currently being recruited for a follow-up clinical trial of a treatment known as MF101 developed by Bionovo, Inc. In its initial clinical trial, MF101 provided women in the study with preliminary evidence of relief from such symptoms as hot flashes and night sweats, without the risks associated with hormone therapy.

The treatment being tested clinically targets only one of the two known estrogen receptors-the estrogen receptor beta. Laboratory data has shown that MF101 does not cause the proliferation of breast or uterine cancer cells the way hormone therapy can, making the drug a safer alternative to currently available hormone therapies.

In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen Plus Progestin Trial, with over 16,000 women participants, was stopped early when it was found that the standard dose of combination hormone therapy increased the risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart attacks, blood clots and dementia.

“Given the void that exists for a safe and effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, our aim is to discover and develop novel drugs such as MF101 that can abate many of the symptoms that have historically been treated with hormones,” said Dr. Mary Tagliaferri. Tagliaferri is co-author of “The New Menopause Book: The Experts Help You Make Informed Decisions on HRT, Natural Hormone Therapy, Herbal Therapies, Traditional Chinese Medicine And More” (Avery, 2006) and Chief Medical Officer of Bionovo, which is developing the drug.

The clinical trials will take place under the directorship of renowned researcher Dr. Deborah Grady at four leading academic medical centers.

Bionovo expects this Phase 2 trial to be completed by the second quarter of 2007.

“If this new drug proves to be effective, we will be providing health care practitioners with a treatment they can comfortably recommend to women experiencing menopause,” said Dr. Tagliaferri.

Hormone Replacement Therapy To Alleviate Menopausal Symptoms

If you have not yet experienced menopause then the terms hormone replacement therapy may sound foreign to you. As the terms suggest, HRT or hormone replacement therapy is a treatment aimed at easing the symptoms of menopause by hormonal replacement.

Menopause is that period in a woman’s life when the body is in the process of changing and these changes are manifested through various symptoms like hot flushes, mood changes, depression, insomnia and night sweating.

A woman in menopausal stage can opt for hormonal replacement therapy is she wants to alleviate the many symptoms of menopause. Hormonal replacement therapy has been found effective in treating menopausal women who became depressed.

There are sectors who believe that hormonal replacement therapy can be used to treat other complications arising from female menopause like diabetes, osteoporosis and heart ailments.

However, some women experiencing menopause do not go for hormone replacement therapy because of the possible side effects of the said treatment. There are those who believe that women taking hormonal replacement therapy have high risks of developing breast cancer. Hormonal replacement therapy has also been blamed for blood clot formations resulting to heart disease.

There are experts, including Dr. John Lee, who believe that hormone replacement therapy expose menopausal women to greater health risks than if they were not taking the therapy. The risk of getting cancer is one of the reason s why most women experiencing menopause opt for natural and alternative treatments for the many symptoms of menopause.

During menopause, the production of a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels become erratic. These hormones play important roles in maintaining the proper functioning of a woman’s body like bone strengthening and blood cholesterol level maintenance.

During menopause, the production of these hormones decline and this causes bone problems and other ailments. Hormone replacement therapy can bring back the proper levels of these hormones in women and can prevent the risk of getting various menopause-related diseases.

While estrogen replacement has been found effective as a treatment for many years, medical research has shown that it increase a woman’s chances of getting breast and uterine cancer. This led the way to the addition of progestin to hormone treatments.

Women who eat the proper food and lead healthy lifestyles are the ones who are most probably able to experience menopause normally, even without hormone replacement therapy. For those who are thinking of availing of this therapy, it is important to talk this over with their doctors as the latter can give them the pros and cons of getting HRT.